Eric Zeman / Android Authority
☕ Good morning! Whew, lots to consider this morning with Samsung’s generous bonus offers…
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Samsung took the wraps off its Galaxy S22 series and its new tablets in the Tab S8 series and I really liked what we saw from Samsung in nearly every way.
- The new S22 Ultra looks great, just like a Note, and sits at the level for those who want the absolute most out of their Android phone.
- It’s huge, it has the S Pen, 5,000mAh battery, the new Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with variable refresh from 1Hz-120Hz looks amazing, and the spec sheet is top-shelf and basically flawless.
- I’m intrigued to see how the camera system works out: not a lot of changes from the S21 Ultra, but the main 108MP is said to be improved and capture more light with wider aperture, and better image stabilization, Samsung quoting a very specific “48% shake reduction”.
- It’s interesting that this is where the Note ended and how Samsung merged it with the S line. It now starts at $1,200 and that probably means a limited audience. (Also the various Fold devices are somewhat in competition as well, at $1,700 minus any discounts/deals).
- That’s for the 8GB/128GB Ultra though, and so really you’d be wanting the $1,300 option which jumps to 12GB/256GB and is the one I’d recommend.
S22, S22 Plus:
- These are probably more important than the Ultra for a lot of people given more accessible pricing.
- Some are calling the S22 and S22 Plus the “S” version of the S21: an interaction and refinement, rather than a revolution, with the same camera cutout, button placements remain the same, with a slightly better, smaller display. I’m fine with that, it makes sense and typically “S models” have been the ones to get in most years.
- And that said, all these phones have new features along with their spec bumps.
- The upgraded 50MP main camera is a big deal for the S22 and S22 Plus, and both now get new features like better night photography and video shooting, plus improved cooling to reduce thermal throttling.
- Also, Samsung now has 45W charging on the S22 Plus and Ultra, which is a handy speed boost — if you pony up to buy the fast charger, since it’s not in the box. The S22 is stuck at 25W.
- Samsung was also keen to talk about its new display with Vision Booster, which offers crazy high brightness along with dynamic tone mapping, but the S22 and S22 Plus miss out on LTPO screens, likely meaning higher battery drain than the Ultra.
- Compared to the S21 models, they’re more flat, the design can’t be easily split between the S22 and S22 Plus and reverting back to a matte glass back seems to give them that hand-feel that people like.
- They start at $799 and $999 respectively, for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage option.
- But, like the Ultra, I’d absolutely always recommend the 256GB option over 128GB, which is only $50 more! I like that.
Pre-orders vs waiting for reviews
- Once again, Samsung is dangling huge carrots for trade-ins and bonuses on its phones.
- For example, one of my colleagues found that Samsung is offering $800 off the S22 Ultra, if they trade in their Note 20 Ultra, plus additional bonus rebates, making the new Ultra just $350 out of pocket. I think there’s bonus earbuds too.
- But pre-ordering right now means missing out on the detailed reviews, which reveal all those little details about execution, software, and so on.
- There were a few pre-order hitches, though, with Samsung’s site struggling for many to actually take a pre-order, though the process was working for me this morning.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Tablets: Galaxy Tab S8 series
- I’m less clear on what I think about the Tab S8 series. I do want an Android tablet with more freedom than iPads for file management, sideloading, media consumption, and sharing my Android collection of games.
- The problem is that Android still ain’t much on larger screens, with iPad software still much better.
- But again I’m tempted. The Galaxy Tab S8, S8 Plus, and S8 Ultra offer premium big screen devices and Samsung really has just gone for it with the massive Ultra: 14.6-inches, making the S8 Plus and its 12.7-inch display look small!
- It’s obviously a kind of hybrid tablet-laptop.
- The Tab S8 and S8 Plus have minor upgrades from the S7 tablets, and most of the talking points around are about the Ultra.
- I look forward to reviews to see what kind of value for money we’re getting here.
- I really don’t mean to be overly positive here about Samsung but the new Samsung promise of four years of Android updates for the Galaxy S22 series, Tab S8 series, S21 series, Z Flip 3, and Z Fold 3, up from the standard three years, is great news.
- The weaknesses might be in the Exynos processor, we don’t know yet, but stay tuned for benchmarks.
- I’m really interested in battery life vs the S21 series as well with the 4nm process on both the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips and the Exynos series. The S22 and S22 Plus actually dropped around 8% of listed battery capacity.
⌚ Samsung confirms Galaxy Watch 4 will see updates for years to come (Android Authority).
🔧 Intel’s strategy for outflanking Arm takes shape with bet on RISC-V via a new $1b innovation fund. Intel trying stuff again is great to see (Ars Technica).
📈 RIP cheap SSD prices: Western Digital, Kioxia say they’ve lost “at least” 6.5 Exabytes of 3D NAND due to contamination, which is crazy (Tom’s Hardware).
🎮 Nintendo Direct happened yesterday! Nintendo announced Mario Kart 8 DLC, with 48 new upcoming racetracks, the return of Wii Sports with Nintendo Switch Sports, plus Portal and Portal 2 are coming to Switch, as is No Man’s Sky, and more (Ars Technica).
Oh hey, throwback to when Futurama was a thing on TV because …it’s back!
Variety published the news that Hulu is reviving it, and I might as well just quote Variety:
- “Variety has learned that the streaming service has ordered 20 new episodes of the adult animated sci-fi comedy series. The revival hails from David X. Cohen and Matt Groening. Cohen developed the original series with Groening, the series creator.”
- Original series cast members Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr and David Herman will all return. John DiMaggio, who voiced Bender and several minor characters, is not currently attached. According to an individual with knowledge of the project, the producers are hopeful DiMaggio will return. Should that not happen, Bender will be recast.”
- I have no idea, but based on DiMaggio’s retweet of this and a tweet from himself, it sounds like he’s holding out for cash rather than some kind of artistic disagreement?
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.